NOAH "THE FIRST NAVIGATION" on 1/12/14
A Review by Kevin Wilson
Date: January 12th, 2014
I had to backtrack a bit, as this show was released after others I had already reviewed. Events shown on Samurai! TV don't have too much of a delay, but anything on G+ can be a few months behind. This is primarily for smaller shows and can be clipped or have matches missing, but I am being as much of a completist as possible so the smaller shows will still get reviewed. Here are the matches on the show I will be reviewing:
- Katsuhiko Nakajima and Taiji Ishimori vs. Hajime Ohara and Yoshihiro Takayama
That wasn't all the matches of course at the event, just the ones that made tape. This is obviously a 'house show' but that doesn't mean the matches will be bad, so let's see how NOAH does on their smaller shows.
Katsuhiko Nakajima and Taiji Ishimori vs. Hajime Ohara and Yoshihiro Takayama
Ohara picks up Ishimori, and he hits a backbreaker. Ohara picks up Ishimori and hits a vertical suplex. Single leg crab hold by Ohara but Nakajima breaks it up. Ohara picks up Ishimori and hits a suplex, cover, but it gets a two count. Ohara goes off the ropes but Ishimori ducks his attack, but Ohara applies the Muy Bien. Nakajima quickly breaks it up. Takayama picks up Ishimori and slams him in front of the corner. Ohara goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving elbow drop to Ishimori's back, cover, but it gets a two count. Ohara picks up Ishimori and throws him into the corner, Ohara gets a running start but Ishimori kicks Ohara back. Ishimori hits a reverse STO into the turnbuckles and makes the tag to Nakajima. Nakajima waits for Ohara to get up and hits a big boot in the corner followed by a one armed suplex. Nakajima goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick. Cover, but it gets a two count. Nakajima picks up Ohara and applies a sleeper, Irish whip by Nakajima, reversed, but Ohara hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Ohara tags in Takayama, Takayama picks up Nakajima and hits a scoop slam. Takayama picks up Nakajima and he hits a backdrop suplex. Cover, but Nakajima gets a shoulder up. Takayama stomps Nakajima in the back and hits a few elbows followed by a series of knees all to the back. Takayama grabs Nakajima and applies a waistlock, but Nakajima elbows out of it. Kicks by Nakajima but Takayama hits a hard knee to the midsection. Takayama tags in Ohara while Nakajima tags in Ishimori. Kick to the face by Ishimori, he charges Ohara in the corner and hits a double knee strike. Slam in front of the corner by Ishimori and he hits a doublestomp, cover, but it gets a two count. Ishimori goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving double knee strike, cover, but it only gets a two count. Ishimori picks up Ohara but Ohara elbows him off. Kick by Ohara and he hits a swinging side slam onto his knee. Cover, but Ishimori kicks out. Ohara picks up Ishimori, Irish whip, but Ishimori hits a handspring into a cutter. Nakajima comes in the ring, and they throw Ohara into the corner. Strikes by Ishimori and Nakajima, and Nakajima hits a backdrop suplex. Ishimori picks up Ohara and hits a double knee to Ohara's chest, cover, but Takayama breaks it up. Ishimori picks up Ohara and slams him in front of the corner, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Ohara rolls out of the way of the 450 Splash. Ohara hits a tilt-a-whirl sitout side powerslam, cover, but it gets a two count. Ohara picks up Ishimori and gets him on his shoulders and hits a backbreaker, but Nakajima breaks it up. Ohara picks up Ishimori and goes for Muy Bien but Ishimori rolls him up with a Front Cradle for the three count. Your winners: Katsuhiko Nakajima and Taiji Ishimori
Match Thoughts: Not a bad match. It wasn't overly exciting but Ohara and Ishimori did a good job at showing some emotion (they were the ones that seemed to not like each other) to make it more than just a nothing match. The back work on Nakajima was solid as was the work on Ishimori, and even though it was a mid-card match on an 'off' show the match had a good structure and ended right as it started to feel like it needed to end. Solid all the way around. Score: 6.0
Daisuke Harada vs. KENTA
KENTA picks up Harada, picks him up and slams him on the exposed floor, purposely missing the mat. KENTA picks up Harada and does it a second time. KENTA gets back in the ring and Harada slowly crawls back in as well, and KENTA kicks Harada in the head. Harada gets back to his feet and they start trading elbows. Boot by KENTA, he goes off the ropes and Harada hit a hard elbow. Harada goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving elbow smash, cover, but it gets a two count. Harada picks up KENTA, he gets KENTA onto his shoulder and hits a death valley driver. Harada goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving elbow drop. Cover, but it gets a two count. Harada picks up KENTA but KENTA elbows him off, Harada goes off the ropes but KENTA knees him in the stomach. KENTA picks up Harada, Irish whip, and he elbows Harada in the stomach again. Cover, but it gets a two count. KENTA goes up to the top turnbuckle and nails a diving doublestomp, cover, but it gets a two count. KENTA goes up to the apron and hits a swandive missile dropkick. Big boot by KENTA in the corner and he follows up with a dropkick. KENTA picks up Harada, he puts Harada on his shoulders but Harada slides off. Elbow by KENTA and they trade elbows, KENTA goes off the ropes but Harada knees him in the face and hits a German suplex hold for a two count. Harada picks up KENTA but KENTA gets into the ropes. Harada goes off the ropes and elbows KENTA in the back of the head, but KENTA hits a powerslam. KENTA picks up Harada but Harada elbows out of the Go 2 Sleep. Elbows by Harada, he goes off the ropes but KENTA catches him with a lariat. Cover, but it gets a two count. Harada gets up and hits KENTA as they trade slaps, which KENTA gets the better of. Harada gets back up and they trade slaps again, with again KENTA winning the battle. Back up they trade slaps again, KENTA slaps Harada to the mat and covers him, but it gets a two count. Lariat by KENTA, cover, but again it gets a two. KENTA picks up Harada and puts him on his shoulders, and KENTA nails the Go 2 Sleep. Cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: KENTA
Match Thoughts: While the winner was never in doubt, Harada shows a lot of fire and KENTA showed him some respect by not taking him likely. I loved KENTA intentionally slamming Harada on the exposed floor about one foot away from the mats, not just once but twice. It is logical, the exposed floor is right there, but wrestlers don't usually do that. Harada was stubborn with the strike battles which did him in, he should have rolled away to re-group, not continuing to stand toe to toe with a better striker than he was. But he is new to NOAH, he will learn. Overall I thought this was a good match, I would have liked for Harada to have another hope spot at the end but it was still a lot of fun to watch. Score: 7.0
Daisuke Sekimoto and Yuji Okabayashi vs. Mikey Nicholls and Shane Haste
Sekimoto makes the tag to Okabayashi, Okabayashi knocks Haste off the apron and chops Nicholls against the ropes. Irish whip by Okabayashi, reversed, but Okabayashi chops Nicholls to the mat. Okabayashi picks up Nicholls and hits a delayed vertical suplex. Cover, but it gets a two count. Okabayashi grabs Nicholls and puts him in a crab hold, but Haste breaks it up. Okabayashi chops Haste out of the ring and then applies the crab hold again to Nicholls, but Nicholls gets a hand on the ropes. Okabayashi grabs Nicholls and puts him on his shoulders, but Nicholls gets off and hits a spinebuster. Nicholls tags in Haste, and Haste dropkicks Okabayashi. Leg lariat by Haste in the corner and he hits a cannonball. Haste picks up Okabayashi and hits a Falcon Arrow. Cover, but it gets a two count. Nicholls comes in the ring, double Irish whip to the corner and they both hit strikes on Okabayashi in the corner. Double slam by Haste and Nicholls, cover, but Sekimoto breaks it up. Nicholls elbows Sekimoto out of the ring, while in the ring Haste uppercuts Okabayashi. Irish whip by Haste but Okabayashi shoulderblocks Haste to the mat and tags in Sekimoto. Sekimoto throws Haste into the corner, and Haste collapses onto the mat. Sekimoto puts Haste up on his shoulders in an Argentine Backbreaker, and Okabayashi puts Nicholls into one as well. Nicholls gets away from Okabayashi and breaks up Sekimoto's move, but Okabayashi throws Nicholls out of the ring. Double lariat by Sekimoto and Okabayashi onto Haste, and they hit a double backdrop suplex. Cover but Sekimoto but Haste kicks out. Sekimoto applies a Scorpion Deathlock to Haste, but Nicholls breaks it up. Okabayashi throws Nicholls out of the ring again, they pick up Haste but Haste elbows them both off. Sekimoto kicks Haste, Irish whip to the corner and Okabayashi hits a lariat. Sekimoto follows with a lariat of his own, Okabayashi slams Haste to the mat and Sekimoto hits a diving body press off the top turnbuckle. Cover, but it gets a two count. Sekimoto goes off the ropes and hits a lariat, but Haste comes back with an uppercut. Haste grabs Sekimoto and hits a Bomb Valley Death, cover, but it gets a two count. Haste goes up to the top turnbuckle but Sekimoto rolls out of the way of the Phoenix Splash. Sekimoto goes off the ropes and levels Haste with a lariat, cover, but Haste barely gets a shoulder up. Sekimoto grabs Haste and hits the German suplex hold, and he picks up the three count. Your winners: Daisuke Sekimoto and Yuji Okabayashi
Match Thoughts: I am surprised that the Big Japan team won, but it was a solid match. Nicholls and Haste are starting to grow on me, a lot of their matches are a bit similar but they always go at a great pace and have some high impact moves. The leg work on Sekimoto went nowhere at all but that is easier to overlook in a tag match since at least he had some time to recover on the apron. A good showing by the Big Japan team, Sekimoto/Okabayashi matches are almost always entertaining and this one was no different. A really solid heavyweight tag match. Score: 6.5
Atsushi Kotoge, Mohammed Yone, and Naomichi Marufuji vs. Kenou, Maybach Taniguchi, and Takeshi Morishima
Taniguchi and Kenou stomp on Kotoge in the corner, Taniguchi picks up Kotoge and hits a scoop slam. Cover by Taniguchi, but it gets a two count. Taniguchi picks up Kotoge again but Kotoge elbows him back. Taniguchi tags in Morishima, and Morishima punches Kotoge in the corner. Irish whip by Morishima and he hits a lariat onto Kotoge. Morishima picks up Kotoge and hits a scoop slam. Kick to the arm by Morishima and he tags in Kenou. Double Irish whip to Kotoge and they hit a double elbow strike. Marufuji runs in the ring but Kenou fights him off. Taniguchi and Kenou stomp on Kotoge, Kenou picks up Kotoge and puts his leg into the ropes before kicking it. Taniguchi then hits Kotoge from the floor with a steel chair. Kenou picks up Kotoge but Kotoge elbows him off. Back kick by Kenou and he throws Kotoge in the corner before hitting a big boot. Kenou tags in Morishima and Morishima hits a running butt smash in the corner. Morishima then hits a second one, he picks up Kotoge and hits an exploder. Cover, but it gets a two count. Morishima tags in Taniguchi, Taniguchi picks up Kotoge and Taniguchi clubs him in the back. Back elbow by Kotoge but Taniguchi hits a shoulderblock. Stomps to the back by Taniguchi, he goes off the ropes but Kotoge drops him onto the second rope and kicks Taniguchi in the back of the head. Kotoge crawls to his corner and tags in Yone, and Yone lariats Taniguchi in the corner. Irish whip by Yone, reversed, and Taniguchi hits a lariat. Yone fires back with an elbow and they trade shots, kick by Taniguchi and he goes off the ropes but Yone catches him with a jumping kick. Guillotine leg drop by Yone, cover, but Taniguchi gets a shoulder up. Yone goes for a kick but Taniguchi catches it and rakes Yone in the eyes. German suplex by Taniguchi, Yone falls into the corner and Taniguchi hits a lariat followed by a powerslam. Cover by Taniguchi, but Yone kicks out. Taniguchi picks up Yone and goes for a chokeslam but Yone armdrags out of it. High kick by Yone and he tags in Marufuji. Kick to the head by Marufuji to Taniguchi and they trade elbows. Taniguchi goes off the ropes but Marufuji hits a lariat. Marufuji picks up Taniguchi and chops Taniguchi into the corner. Irish whip by Marufuji and he hits a jumping elbow strike. Snapmare by Marufuji and he hits a jumping doublestomp to Taniguchi's head. Cover, but it gets two. Marufuji picks up Taniguchi and goes for the Shiranui but Taniguchi pushes him off. Kick combination by Marufuji, cover, but it only gets a two count. Marufuji picks up Taniguchi and goes for it again but Taniguchi pushes Marufuji into the referee. Taniguchi goes for a chokeslam, Marufuji gets out of it but Taniguchi catches him with a powerbomb. Taniguchi gets his big stick and hits Marufuji in the corner with it while everyone else brawls at ringside. Taniguchi picks up Marufuji and he hits a chokeslam. Cover, but Kotoge breaks it up.
Taniguchi picks up Marufuji and goes for a powerbomb but Marufuji gets out of it and hits a Shiranui. Marufuji tags in Kotoge while Kenou is tagged in as well, Kenou goes for a kendo stick shot but Kotoge kicks him in the face. Kotoge picks up Kenou and throws him into the corner, Kotoge goes to the second rope and chokes Kenou over the top rope. Kotoge goes up on the apron but Kenou kicks him, he goes off the ropes but Kotoge rolls in the ring and hits a cutter. Cover, but it gets a two count. Snapmare by Kenou but he misses the big kick. Low blow by Kenou to Kotoge and he hits a double knee in the corner followed by a dropkick to the face. Cover, but it gets a two count. Ankle hold by Kenou to Kotoge but Kotoge hits an enzigieri to get out of it. Marufuji and Yone run into the ring and they triple team Kenou. Swandive body press by Kotoge, cover, but it gets two. Kotoge goes off the ropes and hits a swinging leg kick, cover, but it also gets two. Kotoge picks up Kenou and goes for the Killswitch, but Kenou gets out of it and kicks Kotoge in the chest. Headbutt by Kotoge, he goes off the ropes but Taniguchi hits him from the apron. Kenou tags in Morishima, and Morishima hits Kotoge in the chest with a kendo stick. Cover by Morishima, but Kotoge kicks out. Morishima goes for a lariat but Kotoge catches him with a backslide for a two count. Kicks by Kotoge to the head, cover, but again it gets two. Kotoge picks up Morishima and goes for the Killswitch but Morishima elbows out of it. Headbutts by Kotoge, he goes off the ropes but Morishima catches him with a lariat. Cover, but it only gets a two count. Kenou and Taniguchi come in the ring, and Taniguchi hits a chokeslam onto Kotoge. Morishima follows with a lariat, cover, but the pin is broken up. Yone and Marufuji Irish whip Morishima, but he knocks them both down with a double lariat. Morishima picks up Kotoge and plants him with the backdrop suplex, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winners: Kenou, Maybach Taniguchi, and Takeshi Morishima
Match Thoughts: Probably the worst match on the card, not to say it was terrible but it definitely dragged in parts. The Morishima Army is fine when they are able to mix up the action, but a few sections in the middle lost me a bit as not a whole lot was going on. Kotoge did a great job playing the face in peril and all the wrestlers got involved to at least some degree, but not everyone seemed needed (Yone in particular was a non-factor in the match). It did set up well that the Morishima Army was the leading faction in NOAH and to their credit no one was half-assing it, it just lost its momentum at times as the offense got a bit lackluster. Not a bad match or anything but a step down from some of the other Morishima Army matches I have seen. Score: 5.5
Best Match: Daisuke Harada vs. KENTA. Harada ranks quite a bit lower than KENTA so there is no way that he was going to win this match, but he showed a lot of fire while making some 'rookie' mistakes that helped led to his downfall. Harada didn't have any real convincing near falls but he always seemed to be right on the cusp of pulling off the upset, which a lot of times in these types of matches is all you can hope for. KENTA seemed really motivated, I'd imagine working with newer young wrestlers is more fun than wrestling against the same person for the 100th time. Overall a very entertaining match.
MVP: Atsushi Kotoge. I think I have made him the MVP on other NOAH cards, but any time he is in a big match he delivers. Some of his offense is a bit contrived but he sells really well and his 'comeback' spots always deliver. I am not sure long-term what his ceiling is as he is a smaller wrestler, but he is very good at what he does.
Overall: A very solid house show, really just being held back due to small number of matches and average main event. I will give the wrestlers credit - sometimes on New Japan house shows the wrestlers seem to just be going through the motions but I couldn't tell any difference here when comparing to the bigger NOAH events. The wrestlers were still giving it their all, which obviously as a fan I appreciate. There wasn't a real blow-away match but KENTA/Harada was quite good and none of the matches were stinkers. Probably just for major NOAH fans since there were only four matches taped, but not a bad card.
review completed on 5/15/14